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Couples That Weren’t >>> Warren Beatty-Lana Turner: The Graduate. Sean Connery-Steve Railsback, The Stuntman. Johnny Depp, Jared Leto, Matthew McConaughey, River Phoenix and Jennifer Aniston, Sophie Marceau, Gwyneth Paltrow: Titanic. Paul Newman-Joanne Woodward, Oklahoma! Denzel Washington-Emma Thompson: Pretty Woman. As for Thelma & Louise, take your pick: Carrie Fisher-Kim Basinger, Nicole Kidman-Diane Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer-Jodie Foster <<<

MARGOT–GO-GO!

Everybody wants to work with the #1 2023 star and producer. But Margot Robbie is keeping faith with her pals. She’s rejoining Ken Gosling, as George Clooney’s parents in an Ocean’s 11 prequel – and marrying Brad Pit in a modern-day re-tread of the delightful 30s/40s Thin Man six-film franchise. (Pitt already did that, in a way, with Mr and Mrs Smith – now Hulu series with Donald Glover and Maya Erzkine). The title might well be changed to be all socially correct: The Thin Couple? (More likely: Nick and Nora). Actually, in the 1933 original the title referred to their quarry and not the detective Nick Charles, helped by his rich wife, Nora, and their terrier, Asta.

Margot’s two projects are inter-connected… While shooting the Smiths (and they were assassins, not private dicks), Pitt had to leave for three months to make… Ocean’s Eleven. And Ryan has a likely winner ready for March – his version of the old Lee Majors 80s stuntman series, The Fall Guy, directed by David Leitch… who helmed Brad in Bullet Train in 2020 after having been his stunt double din the Smiths; adventure in 2004.  Neither one seems a day older.

AWAITING BOND

Christopher Nolan says  “No, sadly no – no truth to those rumours” about making the next the Bond. So, no Cillian Murphy as Jimbo, then…

As  the new 007 search continues, other Bondian heroes are being bred. Jason Statham is Levon Cade in Levon’s Trade, first of eleven books by Chuck Dixon – now the first script by Stathamate, Sylvester Stallone, since Rambo: Last Blood in 2018. Why not  Sly as Cade? No “r” in the name. As in Rocky, Rambo and Ross (the Expendables chief).

And Pierce  Brosnan is Charlie Swift in Fast Charlie, less hit man than “problem  solver.” Or as Victor Gischier‘s book called him, Gun Monkey. All vey reminiscent of The November Man, but instead of Luke Bracey Broz is with the delish Morena Baccarin. 

Oh, and Jason  Bourne – whose film birth in The Bourne Identity in 2001, changed 007 for evermore – is due back for a sixth gig. With – or without – Matt Damon is entirely up to Matt Damon.

HIP-HIP-HOO-REY

Year of the Daisy

2024 is the Year of the Dragon in China. For the rest of us, it’s The Year of the Daisy…  Ms Ridley has five films awaiting release. Women in the Castle, the Magpie thriller, Young Woman and the Sea as Gertrude Ederle, first woman to swim across the English Channel in 1928, Bondsmith Martin Campbell’s Cleaner (la re-tooled Die Hard, in and outside London’s Shard – tallest skyscraper in Western Europe. And Daisy’s 2022 film, Sometimes I Think About Dying, remains on the UK shelf. Next? Her Rey heads the first Star Wars movie since The Rise of Skywalker in 2018. No title as yet, apart from Star Wars X. No script either. That’s coming from Peaky Blinders’ Steven Knight – and (book now!) opens in 2026. Rey is building a new Jedi Order. Daisy is delighted, surprised, very excited. “It’s not what I expected, It’s really worth telling, worth exploring.” Her director, new to the fold, is Ms Marvel’s Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.

ONE MO’ TIME

Gary Oldman in Slow Horses

Ice work if you  can  get it… Jackson Lamb, head of the Slow Horsesis not Gary Oldman’s final role after all. He’s fallen for a film in Italy. Writer-director Paolo Sorrentino says Parthenope covers the life of a woman who shares the name but is not the mythical figure connected to the creation of Naples. Gary’s co-stars include the sensuous Stefania Sandrelli. Then it’s back to Lamb for a fourth and fifth season. If/when Horses packs up, so does Gary.

NO THANKS
Keanu Reeves refused 40 films: Batman, Superman, Jack Reacher, etc. Preferring John Wick.
 SWEET MARILYN
She lost Baby Doll, Can-Can, Freud, Harlow. So what! She was sublime in Some Like It Hot.
 HALE HALLE
Halle Berry lost the Tina Turner biopic, but won Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. (And James Bond).

SCHULTZ & CO

Charles Schultz

It’s been eight years since the last Peanuts movie. However, Craig Schulz is hinting there’s a new one around the corner. “Nothing is off the table, we’re always exploring different ideas and different things… and as you know, the Peanuts universe is sort of endless.” Craig is the son of the late comic-strip artist Charles M Schulz. I met the great man – one of my few idols – in his home-cum-office at #1 Snoopy Villas in Santa Rosa, near San Francisco. (Although on that particular day, the ”n” of Snoopy had fallen off the sign). He drew Spike over his Snoopy sketch for me to show the difference between the brothers. He even signed it much against his usual rule. “People always sell these things”. (Not me, baby/ It’s still safely framed on my office wall). He also opened a desk drawer to show me a mass of unfinished strips. “I haven’t found the joke for the fourth panel yet,” He always did. 

TOY STORIES

Scary news from Hollywood. It’s changing its name to Toy Town… Even before the unbelievable triumph of Greta Gerwig’s Barb and Kenny, the Mattel toy company (#2 in the world) completed deals for a whole bucketful of other toy movies. Can you actually name any other Mattel toy? Well, yes, OK, Thomas The Tank Engine. But what else..?

We’ll know soon enough. Eighteen of them are thundering our way. Plus another forty-five are in development. Thankfully, they may not all be made.

Skydance, the Top Gun company, is tackling Matchbox Cars. Lena Dunham directs Polly Pocket. Even the once mighty J J Abrams is revving up Hot Wheels. Daniel Kaluuya is producing a “surrealistic” Barney the Purple Dinosaur. Even Tom Hanks, Hollywood’s Mr Seal of Approval, is becoming 1966’s Major Matt Mason, pitched as “a Close Encounters of the Third Kind-esque drama for adults”. Oh, really?

Lesser known directors Aaron and Adam Nee are playing with the He-Man and Masters of the Universe – this is Mattel’s Star Wars. As a toy, that is. On-screen, it disappeared up its nether regions in 1987. So good luck with that, guys! 

Lost biopix >>>Audrey Hepburn: The Diary of Anne Frank. Mick Jagger: Litzomania.  Burt Lancaster: WWII General Patton. Michelle Pfeiffer as Andy Warhol “superstar” Edie Sedgwick in Factory Girl. Charlize Theron: Grace of Monaco. Spencer Tracy, Chopin in A Song to Remember. John Travolta: Jim Morrison in The Doors. Bruce Willis as Bobby Darin in Beyond the Sea<<<

ROLL ©REDITS:

All The President’s Men montage: Reg Oliver; Halle Berry: Eon-Danjaq-MGM, 2002; Faye Dunaway: Columbia, 1967; Marilyn Monroe: 20th Century Fox, 1962; Gary Oldman: Apple TV+, 2023; Jack Nicholson: Paramount, 1973; Keanu Reeves: Hulu, 2022; Daisy Ridley: Disney, 2017; Margot Robbie: Warner Bros, 2014; Charles M Schulz: CBS; TC sketch: Graham Marsh, 1976; Plus enormous thanks to The Man: Daniel Bouteiller.

Champion

CHAMPION’S LEAGUE

Last time you were here we revealed how Marlon Brando had once again knocked Jack Nicholson off the #1 spot for the most bypassed films in a career. New research has dug up three more titles for Marlon and he topped the League (again with 171  films he never made… with Nicholson, his pal and one-time neighbour on Mulholland Drive, at 169.That was then. This is now.

While digging around other people, guess who popped up. Jacko! With four new entries. that I never knew he’d ever been connected with, including: Expendables 3 and 4 (oh yes!) They have now put Jack back on top at 177 to Marlon‘s 171. Unless you know different.

  1. Jack Nicholson – 177
  2. Marlon Brando – 171
  3. Paul Newman – 160
  4. Cary Grant – 150
  5. Robert De Niro – 140
  6. Tom Cruise – 135
  7. Dustin Hoffman – 126
  8. Mel Gibson – 118
  9. Sean Connery, Al Pacino – 117

Highest Brit  remains, as always, Sir Sean at 117…  followed by Laurence OIivier, 93;  Richard Burton, 87; Peter O’Toole, 79; Peter Sellers, 72; Dirk Bogarde and James Mason,  68; Olivia De Havilland, 58; Vivien Leigh and  Gary Oldman, 57.

Highest lady is Bette Davis, 97; Jodie Foster, 84;  Katharine Hepburn, 79; Michelle Pfeiffer, 78; Julie Christie, 76; Meryl Streep, 75; Nicole Kidman and Elizabeth Taylor, 73; Jane Fonda, 70.

Younger Brigade:  Johnny Depp 108; Leo, 75; Jim Carrey, 70; Julia, 67; Madonna, 62; Jennifer Jason Lee and Natalie Portman, 57; Lindsay Lohan, 49; Winona Ryder, 45; Aishawarya Rai Bachchan, 42; Keanu and Kate Winslet, 41; Bridget Fonda, Angelina Jolie, Uma Thurman, 35; Ben Affleck and Jake Gyllenhall, 31.


This is the film that bred this site … after Robert Redford told me he’d planned a little black-white version – with Robert De Niro, and Michael Moriarty as Woodstein.

A BOND MISS

When Fox wouldn’t release Raquel Welch for Thunderball, in 1965, producer Cubby Broccoli signed the unknown Faye Dunaway – a full year away from her screen debut.  “She had a change of heart and we let her out of it.” He tried to tempt her into Bondage again the 70s and 80s: Diamonds Are Forever and Octopussy. No way!

SHE SAID

“We didn’t build it to be a trilogy.” – Margot Robbie on no Barbie 2, etc.

“I’m not meant to be doing dark, heavy, intense, horror, gore, darkness movies. People like to see me do light movies… I  want to make optimistic stuff that makes girls excited to be women in this world, because it is a wonderful thing to be a woman in this world.” – Reese Witherspoon.

“It’s much more vulnerable than any other creative endeavour I’ve ever taken on.” – Kerry Washington on her autobiography, Thicker Than Water.

“ I felt really frustrated and hopeless. Like, am I doing the right job? The work I was being offered felt deeply unfulfilling. I think I was offered every Marilyn Monroe script ever.” – Scarlett  Johansson.

I wouldn’t star in another movie. Too much of a pain in the ass to get your hair done, your makeup. But I could direct another movie. There’s part of me that’s very lazy.” – Barbra Streisand at 81.

“My melted waxwork maybe a Kardashian buttock now” – Anneka Rice.

“I’d always thought that the whole point was to kind of get it so wrong that it ends up being original.  i think that’s basically what my career has been attempting.”  Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

“She never affected, she never overacts, and that gives you the feeling that something escapes you. She has a sadness, something that she carries with her, a certain melancholy that sticks with her. That moves me a lot.” – French director Mia Hansen-Løve on Léa Seydoux. the busiest of all French actresses.

“I feel that for the last 10 years of my life, I’ve been just stuck…  doing these franchises. I’m very grateful for.   But I felt artistically stuck in my craft of not being able to expand or grow or challenge myself by playing different sorts of genres and different roles.” – Zoe Saldaña, Avatar’s Neytiri.

“I’m not one to sit around doin’ nothin’, I would never retire, I’ll just hopefully drop dead in the middle of a song onstage, someday, hopefully one I’ve written.” – Dolly Parton.

“Playing it safe doesn’t necessarily get you anywhere. You have to take chances. especially if you’re a black woman. You have no choice.” – Halle Berry.

“I want to do this into my 70s. I think it was Truffaut who said, ‘Sometimes, quantity is impressive.’ I know what he means. I just want to be thought of as, like, she’s good. She can do it.” – Greta Gerwig.

“I feel like I can probably do some Tom Cruise stuff.” –  Dakota Johnson  on stunts in Marvel’s Madame Web. 

“Actors get older, actresses get old. “ – Ava Gardner

CONTACT ME

with comments, new items and corrections: tony@crawleyscastingcalls.com